Lancashire TelegraphEast Lancs police officer who tasered blind pensioner can keep job (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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East Lancs police officer who tasered blind pensioner can keep job

Lancashire Telegraph: East Lancs police officer who tasered blind pensioner can keep job East Lancs police officer who tasered blind pensioner can keep job

A POLICE officer who tasered a blind pensioner after he mistook his white stick for a samurai sword can keep his job, a hearing has decided.

The officer faced a gross incompetence hearing after an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission looking into why Colin Farmer, 64, was targeted by police while he walked to a pub in Chorley town centre.

The officer faced a disciplinary hearing by a panel made up of Assistant Chief Constable Tim Jacques, Chief Superintendent Richard Goodenough-Bayly and Ashley Judd, the force’s head of human resources.

The panel found the officer failed to perform his duties to a satisfactory standard on October 12, 2012, though his actions did not amount to gross incompetence.

ACC Jacques said: “I would like to sincerely apologise to Mr Farmer for what happened and the resulting distress and anxiety he suffered.

“The officer made a dreadful mistake when he discharged his Taser, but was acting on a reasonable and honestly held belief that his actions were necessary to protect the public.

“The officer did not perform his duties to a satisfactory standard but we did not feel this amounted to gross incompetence.

“This investigation has raised a number of issues for the constabulary to consider, including the training given to officers carrying a Taser.”

Mr Farmer, who prior to the incident had suffered two strokes, was invited to the hearing but declined, fearing reliving his ordeal would not be good for him.

He said: “I don’t feel I’ve had any justice. It doesn’t bother me what they do to the officer, as I know I didn’t do anything wrong.

“I do welcome the fact it gave the police the chance to consider how this type of thing can be avoided in future but that man will just have to live with his conscience.”

At the time of the incident police were responding to reports of a man with a sword in the town centre.

Mr Farmer was Tasered at point blank range, making him fall.

Mr Farmer also revealed that in the past month he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The officer will be issued with an improvement notice and must demonstrate specific performance improvements over a set timescale.

Arrangements will be made for the officer to offer a personal apology to Mr Farmer.

Mr Farmer added that civil proceedings against the force for compensation were ongoing.

Comments (7)

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9:47am Thu 27 Mar 14

shytalk says...

The headline should read " Blind police officer who tasered a blind pensioner gets to keep his job. " Some one should of told the police officer that there is an offer on at spec savers.
Lucky for the pensioner the police officer wasn't armed with a Heckler and Koch.
The headline should read " Blind police officer who tasered a blind pensioner gets to keep his job. " Some one should of told the police officer that there is an offer on at spec savers. Lucky for the pensioner the police officer wasn't armed with a Heckler and Koch. shytalk
  • Score: 0

10:05am Thu 27 Mar 14

Mikeee47 says...

They make it up to suit themselves, dirty lying cheating, under hand police force live in each others pockets, corrupt. The system needs a good shake up, along with the corrupt Govt' too.
I saw a blind person with a stick at least 30mtrs away and could plainly see it was a stick. Hillsbourgh comes to mind.
corruption or cover up trigger happy cop. live to shoot a pensioner again
They make it up to suit themselves, dirty lying cheating, under hand police force live in each others pockets, corrupt. The system needs a good shake up, along with the corrupt Govt' too. I saw a blind person with a stick at least 30mtrs away and could plainly see it was a stick. Hillsbourgh comes to mind. corruption or cover up trigger happy cop. live to shoot a pensioner again Mikeee47
  • Score: 7

11:41am Thu 27 Mar 14

HarryBosch says...

How on earth the panel decided that he made an 'honest mistake' is beyond comprehension! Firstly the panel heard evidence that he wilfully ignored radiom messages relating to the actual offender and secondly, even if he mistook his white stick to be a samurai sword (which I'm confident that most people will find highly unlikely, given the victims physical state, what possible threat could he have been posing to warrant such a serious use of force? The officer should have been required to resign. Another case of justice denied. Furthermore, this is why the public lose confidence in the police and also this case highlights why tasers should not be doled out willy nilly to all police officers. God only knows what the outcome would have been had this been proper gun!
How on earth the panel decided that he made an 'honest mistake' is beyond comprehension! Firstly the panel heard evidence that he wilfully ignored radiom messages relating to the actual offender and secondly, even if he mistook his white stick to be a samurai sword (which I'm confident that most people will find highly unlikely, given the victims physical state, what possible threat could he have been posing to warrant such a serious use of force? The officer should have been required to resign. Another case of justice denied. Furthermore, this is why the public lose confidence in the police and also this case highlights why tasers should not be doled out willy nilly to all police officers. God only knows what the outcome would have been had this been proper gun! HarryBosch
  • Score: 3

6:07pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Steven Seagull says...

Mikeee47 wrote:
They make it up to suit themselves, dirty lying cheating, under hand police force live in each others pockets, corrupt. The system needs a good shake up, along with the corrupt Govt' too.
I saw a blind person with a stick at least 30mtrs away and could plainly see it was a stick. Hillsbourgh comes to mind.
corruption or cover up trigger happy cop. live to shoot a pensioner again
Had another speeding ticket have we Mikeeeeeee?
[quote][p][bold]Mikeee47[/bold] wrote: They make it up to suit themselves, dirty lying cheating, under hand police force live in each others pockets, corrupt. The system needs a good shake up, along with the corrupt Govt' too. I saw a blind person with a stick at least 30mtrs away and could plainly see it was a stick. Hillsbourgh comes to mind. corruption or cover up trigger happy cop. live to shoot a pensioner again[/p][/quote]Had another speeding ticket have we Mikeeeeeee? Steven Seagull
  • Score: -4

1:18pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Trap one says...

You lot are truly pathetic, he officer made a mistake, do you think he will just decided " I will taser this kind chap for a laugh" . So you think he should lose his job for an honestly held (incorrect) opinion that the man was a danger, well I don't. I am sure the majority of right minded people( that excludes you lot) feel the same.
You lot are truly pathetic, he officer made a mistake, do you think he will just decided " I will taser this kind chap for a laugh" . So you think he should lose his job for an honestly held (incorrect) opinion that the man was a danger, well I don't. I am sure the majority of right minded people( that excludes you lot) feel the same. Trap one
  • Score: 0

2:52pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Graham Hartley says...

Such 'reasonable and honestly-held belief' drives actions which in the very worst of cases lead to the deaths of innocent people. Mr Farmer is indeed fortunate that he is yet alive after this ordeal, which included some very rough treatment by the officer. That treatment is not mentioned in this account, though widely reported elsewhere. What continues to astonish me in this and many other cases is that the officers so often escape the consequences which the laity expect to be applied. Indeed, the officers involved in such cases are sometimes found to have been promoted. Is it the 'reasonable and honestly-held belief' among police officers that involvement in the ill-treatment or even killing of innocent people should not be an indelible stain upon prospects for promotion?
Such 'reasonable and honestly-held belief' drives actions which in the very worst of cases lead to the deaths of innocent people. Mr Farmer is indeed fortunate that he is yet alive after this ordeal, which included some very rough treatment by the officer. That treatment is not mentioned in this account, though widely reported elsewhere. What continues to astonish me in this and many other cases is that the officers so often escape the consequences which the laity expect to be applied. Indeed, the officers involved in such cases are sometimes found to have been promoted. Is it the 'reasonable and honestly-held belief' among police officers that involvement in the ill-treatment or even killing of innocent people should not be an indelible stain upon prospects for promotion? Graham Hartley
  • Score: 0

8:31pm Fri 28 Mar 14

glossopkid says...

Graham Hartley wrote:
Such 'reasonable and honestly-held belief' drives actions which in the very worst of cases lead to the deaths of innocent people. Mr Farmer is indeed fortunate that he is yet alive after this ordeal, which included some very rough treatment by the officer. That treatment is not mentioned in this account, though widely reported elsewhere. What continues to astonish me in this and many other cases is that the officers so often escape the consequences which the laity expect to be applied. Indeed, the officers involved in such cases are sometimes found to have been promoted. Is it the 'reasonable and honestly-held belief' among police officers that involvement in the ill-treatment or even killing of innocent people should not be an indelible stain upon prospects for promotion?
I totally agree with you.
[quote][p][bold]Graham Hartley[/bold] wrote: Such 'reasonable and honestly-held belief' drives actions which in the very worst of cases lead to the deaths of innocent people. Mr Farmer is indeed fortunate that he is yet alive after this ordeal, which included some very rough treatment by the officer. That treatment is not mentioned in this account, though widely reported elsewhere. What continues to astonish me in this and many other cases is that the officers so often escape the consequences which the laity expect to be applied. Indeed, the officers involved in such cases are sometimes found to have been promoted. Is it the 'reasonable and honestly-held belief' among police officers that involvement in the ill-treatment or even killing of innocent people should not be an indelible stain upon prospects for promotion?[/p][/quote]I totally agree with you. glossopkid
  • Score: 0

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